President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Atiku Abubakar and the former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo would lose the 2019 presidential election together.
Buhari who was reacting to Obasanjo’s endorsement of Atiku at a meeting in his (Obasanjo’s) Abeokuta, Ogun State country home on Thursday, October 11, said in a statement by his spokesman, Mr. Garba Shehu, that the meeting as a “well- rehearsed theatre.”
Obasanjo had, at the meeting endorsed Atiku saying and described him as a “wazobia man” and someone who has a “better understanding of the economy.”
Obasanjo who further said he had forgiven him his former deputy between 19o99 and 2007, also said the PDP flag bearer “has better outreach nationally and internationally and that can translate to better management of foreign affairs.”
“Let me start by congratulating President-to-be, Atiku Abubakar, for his success at the recent PDP Primary and I took note of his gracious remarks in his acceptance speech that it all started here….
“…And when you become Nigerian President which, insha-Allah, you will be, remember what we did together in government – we ran an administration by Nigerians for all Nigerians where merit and performance count more than blood relationship, friendship or kith and kin. Although some time and ground have been lost, you should endeavour to start from where we stopped and recover some lost ground, if not time,” said Obasanjo.
Comparing Atiku with Buhari, Obasanjo said the former vice president had the capacity to perform better than the president.
“For me, relatively and of all the aspirants in the PDP, you have the widest and greatest exposure, experience, outreach and possibly the best machinery and preparation for seeing the tough and likely dirty campaign ahead through.
“From what I personally know of you, you have capacity to perform better than the incumbent. You surely understand the economy better; you have business experience, which can make your administration business-friendly and boost the economy and provide jobs,” he said.
The meeting was witnessed by the Catholic Archbishop of Sokoto Dioceses, Bishop Matthew Kukah, Founder of Living Faith Church, Pastor David Oyedepo, a leading Moslem cleric, Sheik Ibrahim Gumi and Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, among others.
Buhari, however, described Obasanjo’s move as “predictable” and a “lack of understanding of today’s politics which is about good governance
“President Buhari is proud of his record because his achievements are verifiable, while that of the PDP is manifested by the devastating social and economic impact of large scale corruption during their governance.
“We are busy on various national issues including the restructuring and the diversification of the economy, fighting corruption, terrorism and other threats to national security; increasing the availability of electric power, improving education, health, and providing long-delayed infrastructure – roads, rail, airports and so forth,” said the president.
Read the full statement below
“The Presidency has received the news of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s predictable U-turn and somersault on the endorsement of the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar, at a meeting Thursday, and to say that we are the least surprised by the well-rehearsed theatre.
“They will lose together. Listening to the prepared statement of the former President after the meeting showed the usual ego trip and “I know it all” character of Chief Obasanjo.
“In the first place, we dare to say that a pompous statement from the former President advising Nigerians on a vote against President Buhari is the best recommendation that can come at this time.
“It also betrayed a lack of understanding of today’s politics which is about good governance. The country voted for change in 2015 and a leader that ensures good governance which only President Buhari and the APC can provide. Bent on these laudable goals, we will not allow ourselves to be distracted.
“We are busy on various national issues including the restructuring and the diversification of the economy, fighting corruption, terrorism and other threats to national security; increasing the availability of electric power, improving education, health, and providing long-delayed infrastructure – roads, rail, airports and so forth.
“Many governments have come and gone, but they did not care about some of these projects.
We were talking about these things for sixteen years under the PDP and nothing was done.
President Buhari is proud of his record because his achievements are verifiable, while that of the PDP is manifested by the devastating social and economic impact of large scale corruption during their governance.
“The President will not relent in the war against corruption because the ordinary people are the ultimate victims if we surrender to corruption and let its perpetrators go unpunished.
“Abandoning the war against corruption is not an option. President Buhari is in this battle against graft because he cannot allow a few, rapacious, and selfish class of the elite to divert the resources meant for the well-being of the ordinary people to their private pockets.
Nigerians trust President Buhari in this effort because they are convinced he is not in government for personal financial benefits, or for an ego trip.
“It is just eleven years ago that the former President and Vice President in their ugly fight for power accused each other of corruption. Nigerians are yet to forget all that.”